Nigeria’s Efe Ajagba lost to Cuba’s Frank Sanchez by unanimous decision after ten rounds at the Mobile Arena in Las Vegas as the Cuban kept his undefeated record intact and retained his titles.
The fight between the duo was highly anticipated as both men were undefeated in their fledgeling heavyweight careers before their meeting in Vegas. Their fight was on the undercard of the Fury-Wilder III trilogy fight at the same venue and the same day.
Efe Ajagba was bullish before the fight, stating that he was one of the best around. The Ughelli-born pugilist was of the opinion that he was a heavy hitter whose punching power was greater than that of the Gypsy King, Tyson Fury, with whom he sparred in preparation for the fight.
Against Sanchez, the Nigerian was to face the biggest test of his career so far, and he failed to live up to the hype around him as Sanchez found it relatively easy to defeat him in their 10-round bout in Las Vegas.
Both men started the fight cautiously as they looked to minimise openings for each other, with the defensive nature and relative lack of action in the fight boring the crowd inside the T-Mobile Arena. The crowd responded by booing the fighters in the ring.
It was not until the seventh of ten scheduled rounds that the fight came to life after Sanchez landed a clean shot that sent Ajagba crashing to the canvas in the centre of the ring. The Nigerian survived the round but could not land any significant punches on his technically superior opponent.
With time ticking in the 10th and final round, Ajagba’s trainer Kay Koroma could be heard asking the Nigerian to go for the knockout, but Sanchez did enough to keep Ajagba at bay and claim a largely untroubled unanimous decision victory over his opponent.
Efe Ajagba failed to utilise his first big shot as Sanchez was too fast, too good and too experienced for him. The Cuban Flash retained his WBC Continental Americas and WBO NABA heavyweight titles and may soon move into the heavyweight division proper with his record of 19 wins from 19 fights.